2020年03月28日

Words of Encouragement for HBS members of Overseas Parish

Words of Encouragement for HBS members of Overseas Parish

Arigatougozaimasu.

We on behalf of all HBS members’ feelings, would like to send words of encouragement to HBS members of overseas parish who are combating a pandemic outbreak of new coronavirus.

Further, we would like to express our heartfelt feelings to you who encounter various hardships due to this pandemic as we share your burden. We also encourage your faith of the Odaimoku and together we shall pray for ‘Coronavirus outbreak to end soon’.

New coronavirus occurred in the Far East city at the end of 2019, has been spread to multiple countries around the world by now, resulting a lot of patients and deaths. The coronavirus outbreak was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, and many countries have closed their borders.

Moreover, it has a great influence on global financial crisis and whether or not ‘The 2020 Olympics’ ought to be held. We don't know what will happen, because we still do not know the substance of the disease and there is no specific medicine.

Japan has suppressed ‘an explosion level spread’ at the moment and there are no virus carriers in some municipalities. In an unpredictable situation, the Japanese government announced the resumption of daily activities with measures to avoid overshoot of an explosion level. Yet according to the reports from overseas parishes, we think that their situation is very serious. However, we are delighted that many HBS members believe the protection of Buddha and encourage one another to overcome our sufferings.

According to the report of Chiaffi Ryosei-shi in Italy, it is forbidden for them to leave over 250 meters away from their houses until the end of April, and stores except grocery stores and pharmacies are closed in Italy. All Italian practitioners pray and listen to Gohomon (an instructive sermon), on the Internet every morning and every evening at the same time. Then, they support each other while exchange their worries and advices.

The report says that “I don't know if I will get sick but I just hope I can spread the Dharma to the end and encourage others to chant.” “May the power of the Buddha and the power of Odaimoku all come together with our faith and they protect everyone's life and soon end this terrible epidemic.” “I am very satisfied with chanting Odaimoku, preparing Gohoumon, and contacting members by telephone and email every day.”

From the reports, we feel that they are improving their own faith and fulfil their mission in this serious situation while praying for end of Coronavirus outbreak.

According to the reports of Correia Nichiyuu-shi in Brazil, the Brazilian government ordered that all facilities including Temples except grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations be shut down, but it seems that Oeshiki in Brazil was still conducted while adhering to safety measures. They reluctantly changed the number of attendees from 500 to 50, and made possible for other HBS members to participate in the Oeshiki via Online method. Thanks to the internet, a lot of members were delighted that they were able to chant Odaimoku many times.

Correia-shi says “current state looks like the beginning of RISSHO ANKOKU-RON. I think that now is time to think of the hardships of the Buddha, Nichiren Shonin, Nichiryu Shonin, Nissen Shonin, past priests and Nissui Shonin. If you do not decide to be religious in this situation, I would like to ask you ‘when will you?’ ”.

Further he says “many members have cancelled their Oko meetings since the outbreak of the new coronavirus, but it is impolite to cancel it while praying for the end of Coronavirus outbreak soon…(shortened.) Following government policy is good, but never cancel your services. We can still continue our service in another method and it is possible to make great achievements of your service”.

According to the report of Dileepa Ryojun-shi in Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka, the number of infected people has rocketed in the last few days, and the whole country will be shut down for about 10 days until March 27. In this situation, HBS members from about a hundred houses have done 24-hour chanting relay for one week continuously.

The report says “We are not alone during this difficult time. We share some photos such as house altar (Gohozen) and our figure of chanting, through the Internet to uplift everyone’s spirits with the power of the Buddha. Everyone is delighted by this and devote themselves to their services”.

The report of Khadka Seiji-shi in India says the following in a difficult Indian situation: “I believe Humanity will change their ways and live more nature friendly ways after this epidemic, including me”.
The report of Dahal Seiten-shi in Nepal says “We are chanting here for the current epidemic in the world”. “I will protect these sacred teachings and Shanti Dharma Stupa till my death for a better future”.

Now we are about to face severe circumstances and improve our faith of Odaimoku even more. It is exactly similar to the Writings of "The Opening of the Eyes" written by Nichiren shonin in an extremely cold Sado island region,
“This I will state. Let the gods forsake me. Let all persecutions assail me. Still I will give my life for the sake of the Law.”

This means that even if one will encounter various difficulties, even if gods will abandon him, one shall sacrifice the life in propagation of the Lotus Sutra alone.
The Writings of "Myōshin-ama gozen gohenji" written by Nichiren shonin also says “An illness gives rise to an opportunity to attain the way”. Although new coronavirus is now a major threat to humanity and has caused many victims, it gives us an opportunity to propagate the true faith by leading many people who are suffering, towards the faith of Odaimoku.

Time has come for all HBS members to unite our hearts, and shall pray for end of Coronavirus outbreak, world peace and propagation of the true teachings of Buddha throughout the world.

We also pray and chant Odaimoku in front of the Gohonzon with you.
Arigatougozaimasu.

The Headquarter of Honmon Butsuryu Shu
Chief of Propagations Nikkei Yoshida
Head of International Division Seijyun Nagamatsu
March 27, 2020